emerging artist program

In the 2017-2018 season, Opera Idaho established its Young Artists program, renamed to Emerging Artists in 2020. The Emerging Artists program is designed to provide training and performance experience for talented singers at the beginning of their professional careers. From September 2021 through April 2022, these artists are placed in a nurturing environment, treated as professionals, and provided with compensation and a comfortable place to live.

During the 2021-2022 season the new class of Emerging Artists will tour the Treasure Valley and surrounding areas with our school outreach program, introducing students in grades K through 12 to opera. They will also be filling smaller roles in our mainstage operas as well as serving as understudies for the lead roles and participating in smaller performances throughout the season.

Applications for the 2022-2023 season are now closed.

Sponsor an Emerging Artist

Sponsor one of the 2021-2022 Opera Idaho Emerging Artists: $5,000


  • Sponsor’s name tied to the Emerging Artist of your choice in printed & web marketing materials throughout the season
  • Recognition of sponsorship on the supertitle screen prior to performances
  • Verbal recognition of sponsorship at any Emerging Artist specific programs including the fall recital in Boise and McCall, Operatinis and the free education outreach performances
  • A 30-minute performance by your sponsored Emerging Artist in your home or at an event of your choosing
  • Invitation to a Emerging Artist meet & greet event exclusive for sponsors which includes wine, appetizers and a chance to attend a rehearsal

Your sponsorship helps Opera Idaho provide the following benefits for the four Emerging Artists while in the program:

  • Financial compensation
  • Housing and transportation assistance
  • Health insurance
  • Coaching sessions with professional vocal coaches
  • Performance opportunities to help build their résumé

2021-2022 Emerging Artists

Victoria Esposito

Sable Strout

Patrick Starke

Jack Canfield

Victoria Esposito, soprano, is a native of Connecticut. Most recently, she was seen performing in concerts throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including a Centennial Celebration of Bernstein, featuring excerpts from Candide. She has performed with Opera Steamboat as First Nymph in Dvorak’s Rusalka (2019). She previously appeared with their Artist Institute as the Statue of Liberty in Milton Granger’s The Proposal (2018). Other roles include Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (2018) with the New York Opera Forum; Cinderella in The True Story of Cinderella (2018); and the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2016) and Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring (2015) with the Miami Music Festival.

Victoria had the distinct pleasure of premiering Faye-Ellen Silverman’s contemporary cantata A Free Pen during the completion of her Masters in Vocal Performance at Mannes College. With the Boston Conservatory, where she received her Bachelors in Music, she performed as a featured soloist with the Conservatory’s Women’s Chorus and with the Conservatory’s Chorale, including works such as Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and Buxtehude’s Laudate pueri dominum.

Sable Strout, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Maine where she made her professional debut as Paggio (Rigoletto) with Opera Maine. Most recently, Sable performed the roles of Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas) and Giovanna (Rigoletto) at Central City Opera as an Apprentice Artist with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. In the spring of 2021 she made her role and company debut as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Wichita Grand Opera. In the 2019 season she originated the role of Josephine in the New York premiere of Valenti & Luftig’s Story of an Hour with Gramercy Opera, and received the Young Artist Encouragement Award from the Lyra New York Mozart Competition. Previous young artist residencies include Opera on the James and Charlottesville Opera.

Sable holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern Maine, as a student of Ellen Chickering, and a Master of Music from Wichita State University, as a student of Alan Held. During her years of study, she took the stage in several staples of the mezzo repertoire including Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Annio (La Clemenza di Tito), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict), and L’enfant (L’enfant et les sortilèges). Sable is currently a private student of Daniel Belcher.

Patrick Starke, tenor, is a native of Pine Bush, New York. Recent stage credits include the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo (2020) and Lyric Tenor in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco (2019) with the New England Conservatory; Elvino in Bellini’s La Sonnambula (2019) with Promenade Opera Project; Le Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (2018) and Geppetto in John Davis’s children’s opera Pinocchio (2017) with Boston Conservatory Opera; and Tito in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (2017) with Ithaca College Opera.

Patrick has recently performed as the tenor soloist in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Cøda Ensemble, Orff’s Carmina Burana with Symphony Pro Musica, and Goodall’s Eternal Light: A Requiem with the Cambridge Chinese Choral Society.

Patrick received a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee College and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College.

Jack Canfield, baritone, is a native of Atlanta, Ga. Recent roles include Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (2019) and John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women (2020). In July 2021, he sang the role of Hannah (Before) in Opera Maine’s Studio Artist production of Kaminsky’s As One. A past performance highlight was singing Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Indiana University’s Ballet Theater in 2019. Jack received his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and his Master of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. In 2015 he was a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson fellowship, which allowed him to study indigenous song traditions in the Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Norway, and Russia.

Past Participants


Cara Gabrielson

Ashley Kay Armstrong

Max Jacob Zander

Radames Andrew Gil


Anna Polum

Tahanee Aluwihare

Ting Li

Micah Schroeder


Christopher Hochstuhl

James P. Held

Ryan Bradford